Law & Principles

For Customer Service Week, celebrate free markets

October 6, 2014

Trent England

Here is a quiz in honor of Customer Service Week.

Which kind of business environment is most likely to lead to good customer service?

A. Lots of competition to win and keep customers
B. Little or no competition (a monopoly or a cartel)

It is easy to recognize that a business that does not have to compete for customers is unlikely to be customer friendly. Just think of cable television companies, especially before satellite and internet competitors came along. Why spend money making customers happy if they have nowhere else to go? A business with lots of competitors, on the other hand, will lose if it fails to treat customers right.

Customer Service Week is an opportunity to express thanks for the people and businesses that provide great customer service. It is also a chance to reflect on how competition creates incentives for excellence.

Finally, it is important to note where competition does not exist. Government is sometimes defined as a monopoly on force. It is certainly a monopoly. There are some jobs we need government to do, but far better to keep the monopoly small and focused rather than to allow it to crowd out or interfere with competitive marketplaces.

The American Founders understood this and established governments with limits, checks, and balances all designed to keep that power in its place. If you want to explore those ideas and how they work in the U.S. Constitution, attend our new programs on The Rule of Law and Liberty.